World Dream Bank home - add a dream - newest - art gallery - sampler - dreams by title, subject, author, date, places, names

J. B. Priestley

Skip down to the dreams!
In 1963, writer J.B. Priestley put out a request on a BBC-TV show for examples of strange experiences with time. Over a thousand responses came, mostly predictive dreams and visions of varying clarity, accuracy and credibility. The following year he published many examples (though withholding most dreamers' names for privacy reasons) in the second half of his book Man and Time. The first chapters merely compile philosophical views of time over the centuries; but this latter half builds into a fairly original theory: everyday linear time is just one of three experienceable temporal dimensions. Time 2 is Dreamtime--the time in which we can wander through Time 1, seeing future and past. Time 3 is alternate/branching/sideways time, many-world time--the time in which we make choices and change the world--or at least our paths through its meta-landscape. It's a simpler, clearer version of J.W. Dunne's critique of conventional physics' 4-dimensional spacetime.

Priestley makes a good case for his model. It has the virtue of plausibly explaining some of the peculiarities of ESP reports--the relative scarcity of predictions in daily life, with hits mostly about either trivial matters or big disasters--things nobody tries to change, or ones too big to change. In between, where the wills and choices of observers are focused (and most effective), the future's hard to predict: it's in flux. Priestley emphasizes how misleading that word observer is, in temporal theory; we're actors too. We shape the future--or steer our awareness to preferred time-paths, if you prefer that model. Forgetting our power to choose may limit us to theories of a fixed timetrack we follow, though we may perhaps peer ahead as well as behind (Time 2). But he shows clear examples suggesting successful alteration of the future after precognitive warnings, and argues (convincingly I think) that just as the bare fact of prediction requires a second time-dimension, choice and mutability require a third: some version of what moderns call the many-world theory, though shamans have for millennia called it the Tree of Time.

Below are examples of the stories from Man and Time.

RELATED TOPICS: dream advice and warnings - ESP in dreams, particularly predictive dreams - time and clocks - physics and natural laws - choice - uncertainty and probability sheaves - dream research and dream interpretation - Priestley's contemporary Louisa E. Rhine and predecessor Dame Edith Lyttelton - See also the full INDEX OF SUBJECTS.

What this site is - Add your dreams! - How to read blurbs - Ratings - Copyright - Downloading - The World Dream Bank has 3300+ dreams plus 1000 more pages on dreamwork, shamanism, surrealism, fantasy, worldbuilding, creativity and genius. Site © Chris Wayan 2001-2013.



BOY IN THE GATEWAY: by "Anonymous #18"; pre-1963, a small warning dream
I was at school, walking through the gate to the playing fields, when a boy crashed into me...
CHOCOLATE SPILL: by "Anonymous #8"; pre-1963, a nondream time-glitch of a few seconds
The jug of chocolate sauce smashed on the floor, forming a dark pattern. Then the scene melted and, like a film
loop, restarted. Horrified, I screamed "Don't touch it!" But the pitcher fell, the sauce made its predestined shape...
THE CREEK: by Louisa E. Rhine; c. 1925? a lifesaving predictive dream
I was camping by a creek. I went to get soap and returned to find my baby son face-down in the water...
DOUBLE DREAM: by "Anonymous #23 & 24"; pre-1963, two linked false-predictive dreams
Mother & daughter both dream Mum runs over a little girl. Next morning she
spots the girl in the road--warned, she swerves. But bystanders see no child...
F.I.P: by Dr A (c.1947), a Cambridge man (1960?), a London girl (c.1916) and a Midlands mum (July 1958)
Examples of inexplicable moods that appear (after the fact) to be reactions to future events...
GRAVESTONE: by "Miss S."; late 1930s-1946, a recurring clairvoyant/predictive nightmare
I'm walking up a churchyard path. My hair clings to me, damp. Horses wander. I'm drawn to one graveside...
HEADLINES: by "Anonymous #21"; 1942/8/4, 1954/1/1, and 1958/8/16, a set of psychic newsflashes
All my life I've had sudden visions showing violent deaths accompanied by headlines naming the victims...
HIT OR MISS: by "Anonymous #20"; pre-1963, a successful warning dream
I dreamt I hit & killed a small boy in the road. Weeks later in Manchester I swerved & just missed that boy...
HUMPBACKED COAT-THIEF: by "Anonymous #15"; c.1919, an acted-on warning dream
I dreamed of a beggar in our house who had been stealing. It was a very small man with a hump. Weeks later...
LEFT EYE: by "Anonymous #9"; 1938, a predictive, quasi-reassuring nightmare
I dreamed of an explosion--a stabbing pain in my left thigh, right fore-arm, and left eye. Two years later, a grenade...
LURCH OF A BUS: by "Anonymous #16"; pre-1963, a successful warning dream
I dreamed the bus lurched, cracking my skull. Next day, on the bus steps as in my dream, I braced myself, and...
MAN OVERBOARD: by Sir Stephen King-Hall; 1916, a lifesaving premonition acted on
I was officer of the watch in the Southampton. I knew that as we passed an islet a mile ahead, a man would fall overboard...
NOSER: by "Anonymous #13"; pre-1963, a predictive dream
An orange tiger with wolf ears jumped on me. I was surprised but not scared, as if it were just a big dog.
The next day, shopping, my daughter thrust an orange wolf-eared hand-puppet in my face, jaws open...
PIRANDELLO'S BAT: by "Anonymous #22"; pre-1963, an absurd predictive dream
I dream of a garden in Italy. Arches, roses. Then a bat flies in! Next day I open a book of Pirandello's plays, to find...
RED UNCLE, RED CANYON: by JB Priestley; c.1907 and c.1925, two dreamlets looking years ahead
As a boy I dreamt my uncle (a calm man) glared at me in red rage; I was terrified. A decade later, in a bar...
I dreamt I saw, over a balcony rail, bright-colored, spectacular scenery. Years after in Arizona, I took a detour...
RIVERBANK BLISS: by "Anonymous #11"; c. 1920, a mood-predicting dream
Eleven years after I dreamt of that green dress and green riverbank and dreamy day, I was convalescing in...
SPARROWHAWK: by "Anonymous #14"; pre-1963, a tiny, precise predictive dream
I dreamt a sparrowhawk perched on my shoulder. Next day a friend was given a stuffed sparrowhawk. He...
A STAY OF EXECUTION: by John Lee; 1885/2/22, a miracle-predicting dream
John Lee, sentenced to hang, dreamt he walked to the scaffold but the trapdoor stubbornly stuck.
He woke, told his jailors the dream, walked to the scaffold, and...
33 EGGS: by "Anonymous #12"; pre-1963, a short, pointless, precise predictive dream
I dreamt a farmer gave me 33 eggs in a bucket. On the stair, he handed me 3 more. I woke, told my family...
TITANIC NIGHTMARES: by J. C. Middleton; 1912/4/3 and 4/4, two predictive dreams saving two lives
I saw the Titanic go down and people struggling frantically in the water. After my second nightmare I told my wife...
TWO TANKS: by "Anonymous #19"; pre-1963, a small but precise psychic dream
Two photographic developing tanks disappear. I assumed theft
until I dreamt they were in a room I'd never seen, in locker FJA 39...
UMBRELLA: by "Anonymous #"17; pre-1963, a helpful cryptomnesic/predictive dream
My wife dreamt where to find her lost umbrella; the next day she did.
But the finder said word for word what she had in the dream...
UNEXPLODED SPHERE: by "Anonymous #10"; c. 1904, a precise predictive dream
As a boy I dreamt of a war; officers marked the landing-spot of an unexploded black sphere. Years later...


This topical list is one of many. See the full LIST OF TOPICS currently indexed.

World Dream Bank homepage - Art gallery - New stuff - Introductory sampler, best dreams, best art - On dreamwork - Books
Indexes: Subject - Author - Date - Names - Places - Art media/styles
Titles: A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - IJ - KL - M - NO - PQ - R - Sa-Sh - Si-Sz - T - UV - WXYZ
Email: wdreamb@yahoo.com - Catalog of art, books, CDs - Behind the Curtain: FAQs, bio, site map - Kindred sites